Tag Archives: Siobhan

The Woods Band and the Mahones, w/ guests Siobhan and The Peelers – Several Canadian Dates (October 2003)

by Ol’ jimmy from Siobhan

I’d like to begin this review with a small message for our American readers. And that message is this:

Ha, ha.

Oh, look at us. We’re the United States. We’re big and powerful. We have most of the money in the world. We grab all the headlines. Our military could conquer Canada 50 times in a week and still have enough time for a relaxing weekend in Bermuda. We have the Dropkicks. We have The Tossers. We have Flogging Molly. We’re the centre of the universe!

Well, let’s just be clear here: Terry Woods and Phil Chevron just did a tour in CANADA. And it rocked both folk and punk ASS.

I mean, The Mahones were awesome, they always are. The Peelers kicked ass. The only real let-down was Siobhan, who played some of the worst music I had ever heard. I mean, I don’t want to be cruel here, but these guys were worse than Creed. They make Creed sound like the Mahones. But anyway, let me get down to the nitty-gritty, the real stuff. The Pogues.

On each night, Terry, Phil and their bad-ass Irish accordion player, James, followed up the Mahones’ set with an acoustic set of their own. This set included some tunes I’d never heard, such as beautiful instrumental “The Lament for Grosse Point” and “Brave New World”, a rousing folk number. And each night, they turned the house lights down, and Phil sang Thousands Are Sailing in an “Unplugged” style.

This was the song that first roused my interest in the Pogues, the song that started me on that long, dark, and drunken road to having a band. And to hear Phil himself sing it was beyond incredible. Shane was great on the album, but seeing this old, frail man sing his own song (on North American soil, even!) gives the tune a whole new power. He also did another song of his, “Faithful Departed”, a Radiators From Space tune that has become an underground classic in Irish music.

The Mahones jumped on stage again as the backing band, and out came “If I Should Fall From Grace With God”, “Young Ned Of The Hill” and “Gartloney Rats”, among others. Those of us in the room who understood what was going on were mesmerized, while those who had never heard the Pogues were amazed to hear Irish music being played so well, better then any band in Canada or the U.S. does. Terry’s fingers absolutely flew on the bouzouki, and his concertina work was masterful. Occasionally, when the sound was bad, I would turn to a band-mate and say, “I wonder if the sound guy realizes he’s fucking up the bouzouki sound for one of the five best players in the world.”

In the end, the shows were magical, and we all have Finny MacConnell from the Mahones to thank for organizing them. The last time Terry and Phil were on this continent, they were playing to five or six thousand people a night, and here they were, in dark underground clubs and halls, playing their hearts out to anyone who would listen. They weren’t trying to get famous, they were trying to show people what Irish music could and should be.

I’ll never forget seeing these guys, and getting to play banjo with them on “Gartloney Rats” is something I’ll take to my grave. But the experience was also humbling for all of us who play this music: there are still giants across the broad Atlantic who play far better than we do. Leave it to the Pogues to put a bunch of Canadians in their place. Health to you, boys, and don’t stay away too long.

Review by:
-Ol’ Jimmy (whose efforts to get Phil to say “Oooh Terrence! You farted!” in a high pitched, squeaky voice were sadly in vain)

Siobhan: Welfare State

Welfare State just scraped into the Shite’n’Onions 2004 top 10 CD’s of the year at number 10, and that was only after 2 listens at that point. If I had a chance to give it a real blast it would have been higher, much higher and since I set the rules and compile the list, I think I’m going to include it in 2005 list as well. Siobhan have come a long way since recording McGravy’s Iron Liver” in a basement with a single microphone and a Casio keyboard, and while that was good and their first full length, “The Patron Saints of Debauchery” was better, “Welfare State” is fantastic. Occupying a musical middle ground between The Pogues and Flogging Molly – high energy whiskey and vodka inspired Celt-Punk with a few familiar melodies. Not a bad track insight but particular standouts include; “Jakeys gone to Germany”(about touring with Neck), the re-recorded very maniac “Celtbot” and “Straight from hell”. Very highly recomended

February 2005

Siobhan : The Patron Saints Of Debauchery

You gotta love Canada! That massive hockey loving country continues to spit out great bands into the music spittoon left and right! (except for Celine Dion, Bare Naked Ladies, and a few others) A band I have added quite close to the top of the Canuck list is Siobhan. Hailing from the capital city of the great white north. (Ottawa, for those of you who may be globally handicapped!) They have recorded a full album with 13 tracks of whiskey inspired mayhem. They never leave D’arcy McGee’s Pub in Ottawa, because they are all cheap lushes who know free pints don’t exist outside of their home pub! (Actually, they never leave D’arcy McGee’s because they are the house band!) So if you ever stumble into Ottawa, don’t go to a Senators hockey game, walk into the pub and go straight to table 12 where the band drinks, and they will tell you to fuck yerself!

Okay, on with the album. According to the liner notes, all songs were recorded live in a single room with no re-takes or anything. Any mistakes you hear are the product of your deranged imagination. I must admit, it sounds as crisp as a Canadian winter evening in Manitoba, every instrument is represented evenly. It has about 5 covers, including “The Limerick Rake”, “Whiskey In The Jar”, “All For Me Grog”, a kick ass version of “Spancil Hill”, and the anti-war classic, “Salford Town”. The originals mix perfectly with the covers, such as “The Monday Night Drinking Song”, which is on par with “Streams Of Whiskey” inviting you to join the band for a pint or 10 on the first night of the week. Another classic song about pint hoisting ’till dawn is track 7, “The Killfinane Parish”, track 8 is a nice instrumental, “Gypsy Rebel”, track 2 is a great original ballad, “Lay Down And Die”, and a few others like “I Got Drunk In Europe” (who hasn’t?) This is a classic album from a promising young band. I recommend checking out the new album PRONTO! Siobhan is one of my favorite bands at the moment.

Siobhan’s Debauchery Tour

07/19 – Merchant MacLiam’s Pub – Kingston ON
07/20 – Merchant MacLiam’s Pub – Kingston ON
07/23 – Bunker’s Pub – Sydney NS
07/25 – O’Reilley’s Pub – St. John’s NF
07/26 – O’Reilley’s Pub – St. John’s NF
07/27 – O’Reilley’s Pub – St. John’s NF
08/09 – Toronto Festival of Beer – Historic Fort York – Toronto ON
08/10 – Fionn MacCool’s Pub – Toronto

July 2002

Review by Brian Gillespie

Siobhan: McGravy’s Iron Liver (CD-EP)

One of the best things about running a zine is it allows me to be exposed to music I’d never otherwise have the opportunity to hear. Siobhan from British occupied America (Only Joking guys – they are from Ottawa, Canada) are a perfect example. Siobhan are a heavily Pogues influence Irish-folk-punk band with a good dose of Jewish/Russian Klezmer thrown in to spice up the mix.

“McGravy’s Iron Liver” is a six song CD-EP “recorded very live at home with a single microphone”, but nevertheless has excellent sound. Track one “Roll me to the Ground”, is very Poguesy, very “Red Roses for me”, “Canon in D” is that classical piece by Pachelbel usually heard on toilet paper commercials and the like, Siobhan merge it with some Russian jig type music to create an Irish-Russian-Classical-Jig-Punk™ instrumental type thing. “Augeline” is a mellower acoustic / Irish number and the traditional “Recruiting Sergeant” most of you will be familiar with from either The Clancy’s version or The Pogues “Medley”. “Rose of London” is a slower darker drinking number that’s a little too close musically to “Boolavogue”. The CD end’s with the fast Irish/Russian Jig Punk of “The Celtbot”, if you can imagine drunken Russian sailors on a Dublin pub crawl this is that sound.

A great introduction to a very enthusiastic young band from Canada (Only Joking guys – they are from British occupied America).

September 2001